The following news briefs were collected by Rhoda Miel at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2007 World Congress, held April 16-19 in Detroit.
German molder Preh adding to operations
Germany's Preh GmbH is expanding in North America, with plans to launch production using a three-shot injection molding process in Mexico, bringing some of its abilities from Europe.
Preh, with headquarters in Bad Neustadt, Germany, already turns out parts using up to four-shot molding in Europe, said sales engineer Rafael Garcia of Preh's Novi, Mich., office.
Some of its customers are U.S.-based manufacturers that now have parts shipped from Germany for assembly into U.S.-made cars and trucks. The multishot capabilities allow Preh to produce parts such as radio faceplates and center console controls with multiple colors and textures, all in one cycle.
Preh now employs about 100 at its Monterrey, Mexico, plant and expects to expand production there during 2009 or 2010 as more contracts come in from North American customers, Garcia said.
The company also has been boosting its engineering staff, with 15 in Novi, up from fewer than 10 in 2005.
Zeon TPE withstands higher temperatures
Zeon Chemicals LP introduced a new grade of its Zeotherm thermoplastic elastomer to help the transportation industry keep up with rising engine temperatures.
Changes to emissions regulations for heavy trucks have resulted in higher temperatures on commercial diesel-powered trucks.
Standard TPE grades cannot stand up to the hotter environment, so engine makers have considered a switch from blow molded ducts to replacements using aluminum or rubber. The other alternative would require them to add heat shields, according to Brian Cail, manager of new business development for Zeon of Louisville, Ky.
The new blow molding grade of Zeotherm, 130-90B, is formulated to withstand the increased heat.
It joins an injection molded formulated Zeotherm, 100-60B, introduced in January, that also was created to withstand the higher engine temperatures, Cail said.